Background: Starting April 26, 2013 CBP automated the I-94 process. U.S. Customs and Border Protections (CBP) no longer issues paper I-94 cards for most arrivals into the U.S. by air and sea (Note: paper I-94s are still issued when a person enters by land). Consequently, additional steps are required for travelers who enter the US by air or sea on non-immigrant visas (such as the following visas: H, L, B, F, O, P, U etc.).These steps also apply to some other non-citizens who enter the US (such as asylees/refugees, those entering on Advance Parole, etc.) by air or sea.
Below are the steps that need to be taken every time you enter the United States by air or sea.
Step #1: Obtain a stamp in your passport. When you enter the US, CBP will stamp your passport. The admission stamp is annotated with: (1) the date of admission; (2) the class of admission; & (3) the “admitted until date.”
Step #2: Within 24 hours of every entry to the US, follow these steps:
- Print the Form I-94 every time you enter the US. To print the automated I-94, go to: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94
- Next, verify the information on the Form I-94 is correct. If all information is correct, save the document for your records.
In particular you want to assure that the following is correct:
- Your name
- Your date of birth
- You passport number
- Country of Issuance (the country that issued the passport you used to enter)
- Your most recent entry date
- The “Admit Until Date”
- Your class of admission (this should be the same as your non-immigrant visa)
* Note: You will only have access to your most recent admission record on the I-94 website until your next departure from the US. Because the I-94 is not available indefinitely and an accurate I-94 may be needed to comply with certain non-immigrant visa requirements, you should take steps #1 and #2 above within 24 hours of entry.
Step #3: Assure that your departure is recorded (if departing by land):
- Departure by plane: If you leave by plane, your departure will be recorded automatically and you do not need to do anything .The system should automatically be updated upon your departure and entry information should no longer be available in the online I-94 system.
- Departure by land:
- If you have a paper form I-94 and depart by land, when you enter Canada you can turn the form in to Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) or when you enter Mexico you can give it to CBP at the port of entry prior to entering Mexico.
- If you received an electronic I-94 upon arrival by air or sea and depart via land, your departure may not be recorded accurately. A departure will be recorded if you depart by land and re-enter the US prior to the expiration date stamped in your passport. If you are not a resident of Canada or Mexico and you receive an electronic I-94 and depart by land, but do not re-enter the United States prior to the expiration date stamped on your passport, you should travel with evidence of your land departure into Canada or Mexico. Evidence of land departure can include, but is not limited to, entry stamps in a passport, transportation tickets, pay stubs and/or other receipts. A traveler can request an entry stamp from CBSA when entering Canada or from the Instituto Nacional de Migracion (INM) when entering Mexico.
How to Address Problems with the online I-94 system if they come up:
- If the information is not correct on the I-94: You may need to visit a local CBP Deferred Inspection office to request changes.
- If you cannot login to the I-94 system: It is possible that the Form does not exist because of a system error. It is more likely that the data is formatted differently than you entered it. Double-check the name or combination of names used. If you can’t correct it, call or visit Deferred Inspection.
The phone number to the San Francisco Deferred Inspection office is (415) 844-5227. You can find a deferred inspection office here.